Connections Academy, Leading Virtual School Provider, Graduates Record Number of High School Seniors

Talented, Diverse Senior Class Heading to Four-year Universities, Community Colleges and Vocational Programs

BALTIMORE, MD (June 13, 2011) — Connections Academy, a leading, fully accredited provider of high-quality, highly accountable virtual schooling for students in grades K through 12, is celebrating the graduation of its largest ever senior class at the end of this 2010–11 academic year.  More than 1,100 12th graders from Connections Academy virtual public schools—plus the online private school Pearson Online Academy—are celebrating their achievement during traditional commencement ceremonies in their local communities.

Connections Academy’s 2011 graduating class is 89 percent bigger than its class of 2010 graduates, reflecting the rapid growth of the virtual school program. More than 61 percent of Connections Academy graduates will continue their education and immediately enter four-year colleges and universities or community colleges and approximately 39 percent will attend vocational schools, enter the military, start careers or pursue other plans.

Connections Academy graduates have been accepted in more than 100 different colleges and universities, including prestigious higher education institutions such as Cornell University, Boston University, the University of Michigan, and the United States Air Force Academy. Other leading colleges and universities accepting Connections Academy graduates include: UCLA, Clemson University, Drexel University, Penn State, and Colorado College.

'We are very proud of our graduates and wish them continued success in college and in life,” commented Barbara Dreyer, president and CEO of Connections Academy. “Our talented graduates are breaking new ground and helping to redefine education and educational success. Today, more than ever, a Connections Academy diploma demonstrates a high level of student achievement, and it’s wonderful that so many colleges and universities are recognizing the high caliber of Connections Academy students.” 

The Connections Academy graduating class of 2011 represents a highly diverse and accomplished group of students. They are aspiring neurologists like Nevada Connections Academy’s Joshua Supelana-Mix, who plans to attend Southern Oregon University at Ashland this fall and then study Differential Neural Pathology in graduate school. Gifted musicians like Oregon Connections Academy’s Taylor Ambrosio Wood, already performing with college ensembles, who will pursue her music at the prestigious Boston Conservatory of Music. Future Emergency Medical Technicians, like Chelsea McGrath of Jackson Hole Connections Academy, enrolled for the fall at Weber State University, and budding chefs like California’s Demetria Hayman, who will pursue her post-secondary studies at the leading culinary arts institution, Johnson & Wales University. Graduates come from large families, single-parent households, major cities and small towns, from coast to coast.

Connections Academy schools deliver top quality, personalized education for students that combines certified teachers, a proven curriculum, technology tools, and community experiences to create a supportive and successful environment for children who want an individualized approach to education. In Connections Academy's Personalized Performance Learning® approach, students use daily lesson plans and curriculum materials provided by Connections Academy. Teachers develop a learning plan for each student, whose progress is tracked through Connexus™, a proprietary, web-based Learning and School Management System. In the 2010–11 school year Connections Academy schools served over 35,000 students via 19 Connections Academy public virtual schools in 18 states and the private National Connections Academy.

A decade ago, Connections Academy opened its first two schools, serving 400 K–8 students. Strong parental demand for this innovative alternative has led Connections Academy to grow its school network and student body by double-digits annually since then. In 2005, in response to strong parental demand, the school introduced its high school program, a challenging, standards-based alternative to a brick-and-mortar school. The high school program includes a wide variety of rigorous courses which provide a solid foundation for whatever path its graduates choose—attending college or starting a career. The Connections Academy high school program also offers honors and Advanced Placement courses, and the support of certified counselors who provide students with college and career-planning services.

About Connections Academy
Connections Academy is a leading, fully accredited provider of high-quality, highly accountable virtual schooling for students in grades K through 12. Through tuition-free public schools, and full-time and part-time private school programs, Connections Academy delivers superior, personalized education for students, with the freedom and flexibility to experience our online learning community from anywhere. The combination of certified teachers, a proven curriculum, technology tools, and community experiences creates a supportive and successful online learning opportunity for families and children who want an individualized approach to education. In the 2011–12 school year, Connections Academy will serve students in 22 states via 23 virtual public schools. It serves students worldwide through the online private school, National Connections Academy. Connections Academy offers grades K through 12, though some public school programs do not offer all grades. Connections Academy is a division of Connections Education LLC. For more information, call 800–382–6010 or visit